Intermediate Full Body Strength Workout

This workout is a progression from the beginner/intermediate total body workout. It includes more advanced exercises and incorporates a barbell into many of the exercises. If you don't have a barbell you can continue to use dumbbells.


Total Body Strength for Intermediates

Do this workout 2-3 non-consecutive days a week, taking at least one day of rest between workouts. For best weight loss results, combine this workout with regular cardio and a healthy, low-calorie diet.


See your doctor if you have any injuries or medical conditions.


Barbell (medium to heavy), various weighted dumbbells

How To

  • Begin with a 5-10 minute warm-up of light cardio (walking in place, etc.)
  • Perform each exercise for 1-3 sets of 10-16 repetitions. Rest for 30-60 secs between sets
  • Use enough weight that you can ONLY complete the desired number of reps
  • For shorter workouts, split this into separate upper and lower body workouts 
  • Combine this with an ab workout for a complete workout

Barbell Squats

  1. Stand with feet wider than shoulders with the barbell resting on the meaty part (your trapezius muscles behind the neck) of your shoulders. 
  2. Bend knees and, keeping chest up, lower into a squat. 
  3. Keep abs in and engaged.  
  4. Push through the heels to raise back up and repeat for 16 reps.

If you don't have a barbell, you can use dumbbells or squat with no equipment. 


Walking Lunges

single lunge

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

  1. Stand with feet together, and step right foot forward into a lunge, taking both knees to 90 degrees.
  2. Step together with your left foot and then lunge forward with the left foot into a lunge. 
  3. Continue, alternating legs, for the length of the room.
  4. Repeat for 2-4 laps across the room.


  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, weights in front of thighs.
  2. Keeping your back flat and abs in, send the hips backward like you've got your hands full of groceries and you're trying to shut the car door with your butt.
  3. Lower torso towards the floor, hands close to legs, shoulders back.
  4. Squeeze glutes and hamstrings to raise back up.
  5. All movement is from the hips, so don't round the back. 
  6. Repeat for 16 reps.

Sumo Squats

  1. Stand in a wide stance with toes out at about a 45-degree angle and hold a heavy dumbbell or kettlebell (shown) in both hands and, keeping the torso upright, bend the knees into a squat.
  2. Lower as far as you can, keeping the knees in line with the toes.
  3. Push into the heels to come up and repeat for 16 reps.



Verywell / Ben Goldstein

  1. Begin in a push-up position on hands and toes, hands a bit wider than shoulders.
  2. Keeping abs braced, bend the elbows and lower into the pushup until elbows are about 90 degrees. Don't sag in the middle! 
  3. Push up and repeat for 16-20 reps.

Chest Press

Barbell chest press

Ben Goldstein

  1. Lie on a step, bench, or on the floor and hold bar (or dumbbells) a few inches above the chest.
  2. Keeping trunk braced, exhale and push weight up overhead without locking elbows.
  3. Lower and repeat for 16 reps.

You can use dumbbells if you don't have a barbell handy.


Barbell Rows

  1. Holding a barbell (or dumbbells), send the hips backward and bring the torso to about 45 degrees or parallel to the floor (harder), knees slightly bent.
  2. Bend arms and bring elbows towards ribcage, contracting the lat muscles (outer back). Keep the abs braced throughout the movement. 
  3. Lower and repeat for 16 reps.

Dumbbell Pullovers

  1. Lie face-up on a bench or an exercise ball (harder) and hold a medium to heavy dumbbell by one end with both hands straight up over the chest.
  2. Keeping your back on the bench and using control, slowly lower the weight behind your head, arms slightly bent, until you're level with the bench.
  3. Squeeze your back to pull the weight back up to start, repeating for 16 reps.

Side Step with an Arnold Press

  1. Holding the weights at chest level with palms facing in, take a wide step out to the right into a squat.
  2. As you step the right foot back to the center, press the dumbbells overhead while turning your palms forward.
  3. Lower the weights as you step out to the left, alternating sides. You can also add a jump instead of a step for more intensity.
  4. Repeat for 16 reps.

Iron Cross Squats

  1. Holding the weights in front of the thighs, squat as you lift the weights up into a front raise.
  2. Take the arms out to the sides as you stand up and then lower them down.
  3. Repeat for 16 reps.

Triceps Dips

Tricep dips

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

  1. Sit on a bench or chair with hands resting next to thighs.
  2. Push up and bring the hips out, with your butt just brushing the bench, knees bent. Bend the elbows and lower body down (staying close to the bench) until elbows are 90 degrees.
  3. Push up and repeat. Straighten the legs for more intensity.
  4. Repeat for 16 reps.

One Arm Triceps Pushups

  1. Lie down on your left side, hips and knees stacked.
  2. Wrap the left arm around the torso so that the left hand is resting on the right waist.
  3. Place the right hand on the floor in front of you, palm parallel to the body.
  4. Squeeze the triceps and push your body up.
  5. Lower and repeat before switching sides.
  6. Repeat for 8-10 reps.

Biceps Curls

bicep curl

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart holding bar (or dumbbells) in front of thighs, palms out.
  2. Bend elbows and bring weights towards the shoulders (without swinging).
  3. Lower back down and repeat for 16 reps.

You can also use a kettlebell or a dumbbell to perform these curls.


Single-Leg Hammer Curls

  1. In a standing position, lift the left leg off the ground and balance on the right leg.
  2. With palms facing in, bend elbows and bring weights towards shoulders without swinging the elbows.
  3. Lower back down and repeat.
  4. For the next set, balance on the other leg.
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Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Harvard Medical School. Exercise 101: Don't skip the warm-up or cool-down.

  2. American Council on Exercise. ACE total-body barbell workout. April 2014.

  3. American Council on Exercise. 5 lunge variations you need to try. February 2016.

  4. American Council on Exercise. Deadlift.

  5. American Council on Exercise. 5 variations of the body-weight squat. March 2016.

  6. American Council on Exercise.  Push-up.

  7. American Council on Exercise. Chest press.

  8. American Council on Exercise. Bent-over row.

  9. American Council on Exercise. Build your triceps workout. October 2015.

  10. American Council on Exercise. Bicep curl.